Mentoring Top Performers into Future Leaders

Looking for ways to grow leadership expertise among your company’s most talented employees?

Consider mentoring.  While training, education and experience are certainly viable ways to develop leaders, these things take time.  In today’s fast-paced operating environment, a formal mentoring relationship can expedite development by giving burgeoning leaders opportunities to learn, and apply that learning, more quickly.

If your organization is looking for specific ways to facilitate the growth of its future leaders, consider these suggestions:

Involve your mentee in career track planning.  From the start, include your future leader directly in planning the course of his career.  Help your mentee create, implement and monitor goals that will promote his professional growth.  As he progresses, work in partnership with him to keep his development plans aligned with organizational needs.  The more involved your protégé feels in his career growth, the more comfortable he will be setting the company’s course when you hand over the reins.

Keep him challenged.  To accelerate learning, continually introduce tasks that push your protégé outside of his comfort zone.  Focus on experiences that allow him to: acquire new skills; plan, track and see projects through to completion; delegate tasks and monitor others’ performance; supervise and coach other employees.

Allow him to take risks.  Tailor developmental activities that will allow a mentee to take risks under a controlled set of circumstances.  When possible, provide opportunities for decision-making that encourage your top performer to use his critical thinking skills and develop more confidence in taking carefully calculated risks.

Facilitate networking.  For junior employees, especially, organizational politics can be a minefield.  To be an effective leader, however, he will need to make allies with higher-ups.  Help your mentee understand what can be achieved through networking with senior managers, who can be invaluable learning resources.  Introduce him to major influencers who can broaden his knowledge base or otherwise facilitate his leadership growth.  The more support and connections he has from the top, the more successful his development will be.

Looking to hire new leaders in your organization? 

PrideStaff can help you cost-effectively hire top talent.  Using our exclusive On Target performance-based candidate selection process, we work with you to develop specific selection criteria for your job requirements.  We then use our proprietary database to identify candidates who meet or exceed your On Target profile.  Contact your local PrideStaff office today to learn more about our direct placement services.